Finance Job Interview Tips (2/3)-Case Scenario | Most Difficult Situation at Work | Questions to Ask Employer

How to deal with interview questions like Case Scenario | Most Difficult Situation at Work | Questions to Ask Employer



4/20/20233 min read

In this series, we are going through these topics about how to excel in an interview.

  • Introduce yourself

  • Why do you apply?

  • Behavorial questions

  • Case scenario (Now we’re here!)

  • What was the most difficult situation you faced at work and how did you tackle it? (Now we’re here!)

  • Do you have any questions for us? (Now we’re here!)

  • How to impress your interviewers by showing your financial skills and experience in a subtle and humble manner?

  • What should you avoid doing in an interview?

Case scenario questions

Case scenario questions in finance job interviews are designed to assess your problem-solving skills, personality and how you handle challenging situations.

As an interviewer, I would be more interested in your thought process and presentation as there is no absolute right or wrong model answer anyway.

  1. Listen carefully and ask any clarifying questions if needed to ensure you fully understand the situation.

  2. Use the Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR) method to structure your response. Start by describing the situation, the task you needed to accomplish, the action you took, and the result of your actions.

  3. Explain your thought process and reasoning (to demonstrate your problem-solving skills)

  4. Think out aloud your logical steps in a clear and structured manner (to demonstrate your presentation skills)

What was the most difficult situation you faced at work and how did you tackle it?

Likewise, this is to assess your personality, problem-solving skills, how you handle challenging situations, and also your story-telling ability. Just tell the story step by step in a clear and structured manner.

  1. Tell your story in an easily understandable and interesting way as your audience don’t share your context.

  2. Be honest about your experience and what you learned from the situation, even if the outcome was not entirely positive.

  3. Highlight the specific skills and knowledge that you utilized to address the situation.

  4. Explain your thought process and reasoning behind the actions you took. Whenever possible, use specific numbers and metrics to describe the situation and the impact of your actions.

What questions to ask your interviewer?

When the interview is approaching an end, the interviewers always ask ‘do you have any questions for us?’

As an interviwer, I found some candidates didn’t take this part seriously, and they usually failed the interview.

Some candidates just said No, thank you(You just said you are so enthusiastic in this role but you have nothing to ask your future colleagues? Are you sure?)

Some asked stupid questions about information that can be obviously found on the company’s official website (This could make interviewers think you did not prepare seriously).

Some asked about salary, annual increment, bonus, how long to get promoted, welfare package, whether they can take leave for some personal reasons. (Don’t talk about money unless they first bring it up. This could make interviewers think you focus too much on benefits rather than the job itself. If you really want to know these, you should ask HR in the next stage when you got the job offer. You can even try to negotiate your package with HR).

This would terribly undermine your impression by making us think you are not that enthusiastic about the role.

Rule of thumb: Don’t say you have no questions! But dont’ ask silly questions!

As this is an crucial part of an interview, get well prepared for it. Take this chance to show your interest in learning more about the role and the company. For example,


  • Can you describe a typical day or week in this role?

  • Can you describe the working culture of the team/organization?

  • What are the attributes you think someone needs to have to be really successful in this role?

  • What opportunities are there for professional development and advancement within the company?


  • If you have studied the interviewer’s Linkedin Profile, you can ask about a specific part of the interviewer’s own career path to become his/her current role in this company (to show your preparation and admiration of the interviewer).

  • If you have studied the products/ services/ research reports which are relevant to your expertise/role, you can ask questions to learn (not to criticize) more about these (to show your preparation and enthusiasm).

Good luck with your interview!